It was a gray morning. I opened my eyes but was not amused to get up. Another day alone at home. Why would I even get up? Nobody misses me for anything.
But then I remembered today getting to attend the Relax a While nature session! However, I was skeptical. Walking and sitting in my own nearby forest was already very familiar. I was wondering if the guided exercises could give me anything more.
I set off tired and a little sceptic if there would be any joy for me in this session. I breathed a little already on the first ascent. Wet leaves stuck to my shoes, which luckily didn’t get wet through. In a small forest square, we made various movements to open up body jams, and I was already starting to pick up a bit.
As we headed down the hill towards the shore, we were given the task of looking for something in nature that would reflect self-reliance and cooperation. On the way, I picked bright red rowan berries that stood out from the shades of brown. I thought each berry depicted one member of our community. The group was divided down into pairs, and each was allowed to share their thoughts on the natural element of their choice for three minutes.
Three minutes went by surprisingly fast, even though I thought in advance that I wouldn’t come up with something to talk about for so long on my own. The couple were not allowed to comment or ask anything, they just had to listen and be present to the other. And if there was no talk, it was only allowed to be quiet. Personally, I didn’t find the silence with the couple distressing or bothersome, but for some it could be that too.
I think this kind of exercise does good anyway, even if the possible silence is troublesome. Another person’s uninterrupted attention, even for just three minutes, is a rare treat today. Usually, with a break of less than ten seconds, one digs a cell phone out of their pocket, even just to look at the watch. Next, he finds that he’s left to browse incoming messages and other updates, making him no longer present to his friend.
In the next exercise, one pair was blind and the other was to guide him safely in the direction shown by the instructor. I was blind at first and I said out loud that it was a little exciting. My partner guided me by the voice and later as we had to look for another pair and continue our journey at four, I felt relieved to hold the other blind by the hand. When I walked by hand, I immediately felt much safer.
We again shared our experience of the blind task with a new couple who were not allowed to interrupt the narrator, but only to be present. After that, the director put music on the speaker and the group started dancing, first alone, then in small groups and finally we all danced together in a big circle. It was fun and I wasn’t tired at all anymore.
Finally, we fell silent to sit on the beach benches. We looked at the lake or closed our eyes and listened to the instructor’s reassuring words. The sun also began to appear behind the clouds. The silence and the whole morning in the fresh air did so well that I was still full of energy in the afternoon and not, as usual, tired right after lunch. Thanks to FoResting, it was a pleasure to Relax a While!